“Following fashion is funny, but not following is stupid,” the well-known TV presenter and fashion historian Alexander Vasilyev likes to repeat. It turns out that it is easier to seem funny than stupid. But there can’t be two opinions about health: it’s always fashionable to be healthy, but how much diaphragmatic breathing is in trend today, Goodshapetips figured out.
What are the types of breathing?
There are two main types of breathing: diaphragmatic and chest, or lower and upper. Chest breathing, in turn, is divided into clavicular and costal. What is the difference between these types?
At diaphragmatic (or abdominal) breathing, a strong muscular septum is involved in the process – the diaphragm, which, when inhaled, contracts and falls down, and the stomach relaxes and protrudes. When a person exhales, the diaphragm rises dome-shaped, pushing the air out of the lungs with force. The main advantage of diaphragmatic breathing is the better enrichment of blood with oxygen, since almost the entire volume of the lung is involved in the process.
It is very interesting that a newborn baby breathes precisely with the help of the diaphragm, but very soon his breathing becomes chest, which is physiologically characteristic of an adult.
At breastfeeding In respiration, only the upper lobes of the lungs perform an active function. In particular, clavicular breathing as a kind of chest is carried out by raising the clavicles during inhalation and lowering them during exhalation. Such breathing is inherent in the elderly, when only 20% of the total lung volume is working.
Another subtype of chest breathing – costal – occurs due to the intercostal muscles, which provide expansion of the chest during inhalation and contraction during exhalation. I must say that this is how most people breathe, but rib breathing is not optimal.
Why is diaphragmatic breathing considered correct?
As already mentioned, with chest breathing, only part of the lung is involved in the process, a smaller amount of oxygen enters the blood compared to that which would have been received with a diaphragmatic variant.
By actively enriching the blood with oxygen, diaphragmatic breathing improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system, stimulates the lungs, helping to get rid of shortness of breath and even quit smoking.
In addition, the diaphragm, moving, provides a natural massage of the internal organs located in the chest and abdominal cavities. This is the heart bag – the pericardium, pancreas, liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands. Such a massage significantly improves the functioning of these organs, which allows you to maintain the health of the body as a whole.
With regard to the state of the gastrointestinal system, it is important to note that proper breathing has a beneficial effect on bowel function, relieving constipation, reducing bloating and calming excessive peristalsis.
With inadequate lung function, when the process of gas exchange is disturbed during chest breathing, part of the lung function is transferred to the skin, which provokes the development of skin diseases, the appearance of acne and even premature wrinkles.
Learning to breathe correctly
Learning to use the diaphragm for proper breathing is difficult, but achievable. First of all, you need to be patient, because the first successes will appear no earlier than the sixth lesson, and at first you may experience dizziness and even fear.
There is no need to be afraid of this, because these processes are physiological and are associated with an unusual oxygen saturation for the body.
So where do you need to start? The most important thing is to choose the right place and time. Experts advise to conduct classes either in the morning or in the evening. And the place should be calm and secluded, since for about half an hour no one should distract and interfere with concentration.
There are two main methods of exercise, and here is the first of them:
- It is necessary to lie on your back and relax as much as possible;
- Put your right hand on the lower abdomen, and the left hand on the chest;
- Breathing in such a way that the right hand remains motionless, and the left rises on inspiration, this is our usual breathing;
- Then you need to inflate the stomach while inhaling, feeling how the right hand rises, and then lowers as you exhale. It is important that the left hand lying on the chest remains motionless. This is diaphragmatic breathing.
The second technique is called “dog breathing”.
- It is necessary to sit comfortably in a sitting position and begin to breathe with the diaphragm, controlling inhalation and exhalation with the hands lying on the stomach. Well, if the eyes are closed, this will allow you to fully concentrate on breathing;
- Then you need to get on all fours, completely relax your stomach and start breathing strongly and often with your mouth open. This position will allow you to feel the movement of the diaphragm well and learn how to control the breathing process. But you should be careful – hyperventilation of the lungs and a sharp saturation of the body with oxygen can cause severe dizziness, so this phase of the exercise should not last long;
- At the next stage, you need to lie on your back, and put a thick book on your stomach, but not too heavy. It will allow you to visually observe the correct diaphragmatic breathing without using your hands.
In everything it is important to observe the measure
Everything in the world has its downside: the best undertakings can lead to a negative result, an effective medicine can have its own contraindications, a set of exercises that only benefits one person harms another. And diaphragmatic breathing is no exception.
It is important to know that breathing with the diaphragm is contraindicated for people who are prone to hypertension, so before you start exercising, you should consult your doctor and make sure there are no contraindications. And then – breathe in health!
Diaphragmatic breathing as a way to lose weight
Proper breathing is not only health, but also beauty. But how could it be otherwise, because if you breathe correctly, you can tighten the abdominal muscles and lose weight.
So, try hunching over and taking a deep breath. Does not work? Then straighten up and try again. It worked out, didn’t it? So, with proper breathing with the stomach, the abdominal muscles are involved in the process. If you strain and relax them correctly, your posture is corrected and your stomach is tightened.
And if you pick up dumbbells and inhale at the moment of tension, and exhale at the moment of relaxation, then you can successfully tighten the muscles. And most importantly, this effect will last for a long time.